• Based in the Kitchener, Ontario, the award-winning scruffy dog photography inc. is the province's premier pet photographer, serving clients across Ontario, the US and internationally since 2007, photographing exclusively animals both commercially and for private clients.

    To learn more about the scruffy dog experience, its creator and history, as well as how YOUR scruffy can become a part of the SDP family, feel free to browse through the menu above, and scroll through a decade's worth of blog entries below!

    Please drop us a line! We'd love the opportunity to capture stunning, creative, one-of-a-kind photographic memories of your 4-legged loved ones to treasure in artwork for a lifetime, and show you just what makes the scruffy dog experience second to none.

shy boy bauer

i met this sweet boy a couple of weeks ago before scruffy dog headquarters got hit with a trojan virus and became just a little backlogged.   lost in the quagmire of having to build a new hardddrive, reloading programs and frantically playing catchup, i haven’t been able to keep up with blog posts and client sneak peaks.   still, i wanted to share this young lad …


Bauer actually turned out to be my closest client yet, living only one street over.  gotta love those short commutes.   owners Karen and RJ and i headed out to Bechtel park to shoot the VERY wintry segment of the Winter/Summer Rover.

although Bauer was initially terrified of the camera, and very skittish of the skiiers, he had eyes only for his frisbee.

and sweet Bauer’s got some eyes, doesn’t he?

i loved our time in the woods, with the snow falling around us … although it’s never easy shooting in a downpour of snow.  so much is left to chance … falling flakes too close to the lens can blur out whole portions of your subject … so, lots of throw-outs.  but still, lots of keepers too.



i love the relationship between Bauer and his dad … of course, i get to see it beyond the time of the shoot since i do see RJ and Bauer around the neighborhood once in a while.  very boy-and-his-dog.


and back at home, you can tell Bauer definitely lives the good life …

thanks for an awesome afternoon, Karen and RJ.  you’ve got a wonderful boy.  i hope Bauer’s looking forward to our Summer shoot as much as i am!



Jamie - only an uber-talented professional such as yourself could get that first shot with a 150mm prime! wow Illona, I am beyond impressed. Thanks for sharing!

illona - thanks, Jamie. i love the first one too. and no, i can never get such sharp results with my nifty fifty. that one was taken with my secret weapon – my Sigma 150mm 2.8 macro lens. it comes out when the dogs are quiet and the light is good. it’s a pain in the a**, but nothing beats the sharpness of that honkin’ macro lens.

Jamie - OMG these are GORGEOUS Illona! I have so many favorites I can’t pick just one. That first one is just stunning. What lens did you use with that? Was it the 50mm 1.4? You use the Nikon D700 right?

Tamara - That first photo is so divine Illona

Bev - Beautiful session. Love both the outside and inside shots!! This dog family will be happy!

Ellen - The running dog in the snow is so good! Love it! I will be back to visit your blog. Like a lot what I saw!

Jill Beninato - I love these shots! The snow ones always make me envious…what a handsome boy.

Andrea - I am in absolute LOVE with your photos!! They are just wonderful! 🙂 Glad to have found you.

CaliforniaGirl - Bauer is a gorgeous dog and your portraits really bring out his personality. You captured a dog I do not know but now feel as though I do.

claire - those snow shots are awesome!

april - The snow shots are awesome! And I LOVE the 4th shot, the one of Bauer on the tile floor…

Mary - Gorgeous shots of this guy. Beautiful contrast between that black dog and fresh white snow. I love the snowflakes and his amazing eyes in the first shot.

sujawi - I have to be honest…labs are not usually one of my favorite breeds…but this dog changes my mind concerning the preception I’ve had. This dog is beautiful & the settings are so tranquil. I think these are some of my favorite pictures of yours. Well done. =)



illona - thanks, nicole. by that point it was a downright blizzard!!

NML - LOVE the shot of Bauer and his Dad in the snow.

love is in the air …

… and the scruffies certainly aren’t immune … so we’re having a Valentines Special!!

no, we’re not giving out roses … but we ARE giving away prints!  yes, giving away!!

order one 8×12 and receive the second 8×12 for free!  yup, zero.  zilch.  zip.  that’s a $33 gift.

better yet, order yourself a 16×24 of your favorite image and get a 16×24 enlargement of another image for only $20!  that’s a $50 saving.  (mounting is extra)

that’s better than a bunch of roses isn’t it?


this special runs for just one week, so don’t delay.   you snooze you lose.   if you order AFTER the 14th of February you get nothing.  bupkiss.   nada.   niente.  poop on a stick.

so what are you waiting for?

NOTE: this special is open to “session clients” only who have already placed their full session orders.


Tammy Muecke - I love your work. I just got teary eyed!!

Grace - Totally cute and what a great deal. Though poop on a stick might be an interesting gift too 🙂

nick - Aww very sweet indeed 🙂

Idil - I love these shots, Illona! The first one of Matea is my absolute favourite – what a good dog she is to hold the rose in her mouth and look right into the camera!!! Excellent perspective – fantastic photo! And Morley is as adorable as ever – having him lie in the midst of rose petals is such an awesome idea – great composition and colours and cute cute cute Morley!!! Big Valentine’s Day kisses and hugs to your wonderful models 🙂

trojans suck!

in spite of an arsenal of defenses, some hulking beast slithered through the scruffy dog moat undetected last week and made a mess of my system … bad scruffies for not noticing!   my drive was mostly salvaged by my good friend and computer wizard-of-the-highest-order Ed, and we thought we were good, however, it’s still something of a mess.  

so we’re rebuilding now.  oh fun, oh bliss …   please refrain from emails exhaulting the virtues of Macs and how i should use this opportunity to finally take the plunge.  it will be soon, but this is too soon, and except for the rebuild, my current system is a kicka** system.

in the meantime, however, i felt the need to explain the lack of  any client sneak peeks on the blog and the general lack of action around here.  without my main system, i’m unable to do my processing, but should be up and running very soon.

i’ll leave you with one sneak peek from a client a week and a half ago … young, frisbee-obsessed Bauer.   


i’ll post a proper entry of this lad soon as he definitely warrants one.

and for anyone emailing me during this funky period, thank you for your patience.


Jamie - mac baby, mac. plus your LR issues will be nonexistant on a mac. I’m just saying…. 😉

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